On 15th May 2023, I led Labour’s response to the Second Reading of the Victims and Prisoners Bill in Parliament.
Labour has campaigned for a Victims Bill for over eight years, whilst the Tories dragged their feet under eight different Justice Secretaries. The current proposals fall well short of the support needed for victims who are consistently failed by the criminal justice system.
Ahead of the debate I visited the Victim Support call centre in St Mellons with former Victims Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird. Whilst helping to answer calls with their specialist staff, it was clear victims are repeatedly returning to the service because they are not supported throughout the justice process.
.@UKLabour's plan for victims of crime📜— Anna McMorrin MP 🏴🏳️🌈 (@AnnaMcMorrin) May 16, 2023
✅ Give rights to victims of anti-social behaviour
✅ Free independent advice for rape survivors
✅ Independent public advocate for victims of tragedies like Hillsborough
✅ More powers to the Victim’s Commissioner
My speech 👇 pic.twitter.com/NlEWvW8ONs
Labour will challenge the Government to rise to the challenge and strengthen this legislation. Our plan includes:
- Giving rights to victims of anti-social behaviour under the Victims Code so they’re treated like any other victim of crime.
- Free and independent legal advice for survivors of rape from the second they report a crime, right through to trial.
- Creating an independent public advocate for victims of tragedies like Hillsborough and Grenfell that is accountable to families and survivors.
- Bolstering the powers of the Victim’s Commissioner so they can uphold the Victims Code and hold the Government to account.
We are clear that a Labour Government will put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system. As the Bill moves to committee stage, we will continue challenging the Tories to ensure this bill is fit for purpose.